HRP SU20-26: Research Opportunity with Dr. Paola Vera-licona

Project Mentor

Dr. Paola Vera-licona
Center for Quantitative Medicine

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description The student involved in this project will apply computational systems biology and bioinformatics tools to quantitatively study Acute Myeloid Leukemia maturation state interconversion in a clinically relevant in vivo model of differentiation therapy.

Bioinformatics tools will include the use of the software package geneXplain ( and some R packages to visualize and analyze RNA-seq data. In addition, the student will learn to use some Cytoscape apps (

Project Direction Our research group is focused on developing and applying bioinformatics, computational systems biology and mathematical biology approaches to identify combinations of therapeutic targets in cancer diseases such as breast cancer.
Mentorship and Supervision The student will be trained, in the first week, to use the geneXplain package ( and some basics of Cytoscape ( The student will have have some reading materials to familiarize with the algorithms applied to analyze the RNA-seq data as well as the basic concepts related to leukemia and cancer systems biology. The reading materials as well as the student’s progress will be discussed in weekly meetings with the Principal Investigator (PI). If the findings of the student are suitable for publication, the PI will provide guidance on the manuscript preparation.
Student Qualifications – Be proficient in at least one of the following programming languages: R, Python, C++ or Java.
– Interest in computational systems biology and bioinformatics. Even if the student has no experience in these biomedical/computational biology/bioinformatics areas, a highly motivated and committed student will be important.
– This project is suitable for either math, computer science, biological sciences, pharmacy studies, or a biomedical engineering student interested in computational systems biology and systems medicine.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 26 to July 31, 2020
Schedule: M-F, 9am-5pm
Project Continuation Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Academic Year Time Commitment 9 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, February 3, 2020.

This application requires resume or CV and an unofficial transcript.